The social control theory explains that people’s relationships, beliefs, norms, commitments and values discourage them from committing crimes or breaking the law. This theory further states that if moral codes are put in place and people asked to adhere to them, then they will limit themselves from committing crimes. Therefore, the social control theory was implemented to explain why people do not commit crimes or why most people abide to the law. This theory is supported by the fact that people can be controlled by their families, conscience, schools and work related factors.
It also explains that people break the law when they have not developed proper attachments or even become involved in commitments. People commit crimes when they have not internalized the moral rules set by the society. The social control theory focuses on strategies and techniques that regulate human behavior, hence leading to adherence to society rules. Therefore social control is achieved when people hold one another accountable to standards or moral rules set by the society. (Burfeind, & Bartusch, 2005). Self control theory
The self control theory is believed to be a thought process in which people process different types of behaviors after which they choose the course of action to take. The theory of self control is also based on an inner strength or willpower. People can exercise self control to prevent them from delinquent behavior such as alcoholism. The self control theory can be explained through an inner voice that prevents someone from indulging in a deviant behavior. The lack of self control causes people to indulge in criminal activities due to the fact that they cannot restrain themselves.
The difference between the social control theory and the self control theory is clearly stated because in social control, people are restrained from engaging in criminal activities by the society, while in self control, people are restrained by checking their own impulses. How does the family structure contribute to delinquency behavior in juveniles? Research studies have shown that a weak family structure with poor communication contributes greatly to juvenile delinquent behaviors. Most people believe that the family unit is the greatest foundation of the society.
Therefore, children who grow up in homes with constant conflicts, less caring and loving parents are more likely to become delinquents. Families are considered as the strongest social forces in a person’s life. Families can have either positive or negative effects on the behaviors adapted by their children. In this sense, families can teach their children how to control themselves from committing deviant activities as well as respecting other people. And their rights. On the other hand, families can teach their children to adapt violent, antisocial and aggressive behaviors.
During their growing years, most adolescents could be exposed to violence either within their families or outside especially at school. If these adolescents are surrounded by aspects of emotional violence in their lives, then they are more likely to develop delinquent behaviors. Weak family structures mean that parents and guardians create very little time to spend with their children. These children lack attention from their families and so they seek for attention by engaging in criminal behaviors.
The absence of one parent, especially the father in a child’s life leads to increased rates of juvenile crime. Children who are brought up in households with two parents have access to increased surveillance and supervision. Families that are going through a crisis can impact delinquent behavior in their children. For example, if a family member is alcoholic, sick or has a mental disorder; most children will react negatively towards them. Child abuse is another factor that causes delinquent behavior in children. Children who have been physically abused are more likely to commit violent crimes later in life.